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Old 02-15-2012, 02:50 AM   #1  
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Default Emirates Training Dept

For those in the know.... Any info regarding the Training Department at Emirates, would be greatly appreciated. Check rides from hell...or laid back learning environment? Initial...recurrent...upgrade...What to expect?

The million$ Q: If you knew then what you know now, would you have come?
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:04 AM   #2  
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I knew then what I know now. It's no big secret and easily researched and hasn't really changed much over the years. And yes I would do it again.

If you plan to move you and your family half way around the world you owe yourself some decent research. If you come over for the interview bring the wife and maybe spend a few extra days.

The training department has greatly improved over the last few years and the checking is mostly fair. There's always "some", but I don't think they're any worse than other airlines I've experienced before.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:38 PM   #3  
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Default Initial training

Last question first. The training differences at EK over airlines in the USA were not even a factor in my decision to join the airline.

That said, training at EK is different than most airlines in the USA. Training is much more serious and the student's are held to very high standards.

The initial training progresses at a very reasonable pace. There is about 3 weeks of generic training when you start. Stuff like dangerous good, crm, human resources, etc. It gives someone a chance to get a head start on the systems and procedures study if they choose to make use of that extra time.

Key point there. I highly recommend guys come to EK alone for 3 months if possible. It's not always possible if there are children involved and it's the start of the school year. If it's the middle of the school year, leave the kids and wife at home and come to EK alone to start. That saves a lot of time and hassle of dealing with settling the family in Dubai while you should be concentrating on training. The other thing that can wait is shopping. Just live a bare bones lifestyle for 3 months. Don't go out shopping for Cars, TVs, stereos, . Just get the essentials done and then start studying.

The type rating training starts with CBT for systems. There is very little class room discussion on systems. Another key point, there is no type rating oral on systems. This is a big difference in training. All you'll get is a 100 question multiple choice test on systems at the end of the CBT/Fixed base training. Your type ride ( or skills test as we call it ) will only have a couple of questions that are more than likely operational rules or how to perform a specific manuever. So there is no need to memorize the exact function of every switch on the overhead panel like you might at a U.S. airline. You can if you want, but nobody is ever going to ask those type of questions.

A far larger emphasis is put on procedures and flows. So prior to fix base training ( IPT in the B777 ) one really should get in depth into the FCOM normal procedures to get the flows down pat. The verbiage also needs to be exact as that is the requirement.

A lot of the training is self study. You are expected to have the self-discipline to study on your own and come to each and every training session prepared. There is no spoon feeding of information ( which U.S. airlines tend to do ).

The flying part in the simulator is pretty easy. In fact, the skills test, is simple. Unlike a type rating ride in the USA, on a skills test, under the CARs you can repeat up to 3 items. For example. You screw up the V1 cut because you're pitch control is not good ( nerves maybe ). You can do it over. If it's good on the second try, it's still a pass. Procedures and management will be looked at more closely than on a U.S. type ride though.

When line training starts, it is very different. Line training covers a lot of areas for new hires. They need to see the different areas that we fly so they'll get trips to Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. There will be ETOPS, HF Radio, CPDLC, and lots of stuff that some guys have never seen before. Again, a lot of self study and preparation is required for each and every flight. A trainee is expected to study the route and all the alternate airports along it so that they have a good idea where to go in an emergency. There are tools provided in the LIDO charts and OM-C, as well as online for that study. A syllabus is provided for points to discuss in cruise.

Of course there is the flying the airplane part as well. A lot of technique gets shown in line training. Much of it comes straight out of the FCTM so that book becomes much more important for line training. It's a lot more work than line training in the USA.

The training culture is a blend of British, Australian, and other. There are instructors and examiners from all over the world. Each country and each individual brings with them a slightly different view on how to train. It's impossible to standardize the training as a result of these deep cultural differences. Fortunately some of the worst cultures of training tend to be kept out of the training department at Emirates. There are a few exceptions, but by and large it is a very good group of guys.

The one complaint that comes up a lot is checking versus training. Many trainees feel that they are being checked on each and every training event. To an extent ( maybe even a large extent ) this is true. Again, that is cultural. Culture meaning country background of the instructor and cultural meaning the way it's been done at Emirates for many years. There have been positive changes to that in the last few years, but there is still a long way to go.

All events are graded. That's just the way it is. That bugs a lot of people. myself included, but it's not going to change. Grading is from 1-5. 1 being unsafe and 5 being very good. 3 means "could be improved". A grade of a 2 is the only way we can get more training if someone requires it. So those grades can be quite common to see because the training program is set to the minimum required. If someone needs a little more help a grade of 2 has to be given or they won't get the extra help ( sim session, flight, etc ). That is demorilizing to a student who is working hard, but still struggling. Yet, it's the only way under the current system for the instructor to help the student get the extra training. Trainers can get a bad rap over that, but their intentions are often times good.

What can really get frustrating is standardization. In training you might get one guy who insists you do it "this" way and then the next day you get a new guy who criticzes you for doing it the way you were just told. This problem is known, but so difficult to tackle. We can resort to the book and what it says, but then we get "cultural" difference in how to interpret the written English word. Practicality sometimes get thrown out the window with certain cultures because they must follow the exact wording of the procedure ( or their interpretation of it ).

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Old 02-15-2012, 09:57 PM   #4  
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Typhoonpilot should be awarded the APC's "Contributor of the Year" award.

Always posting great insightful and aiding information in regards to Emirates.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:31 PM   #5  
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Thanks for the excellent post TP. It seriously is interesting that there is no systems oral. Obviously you guys are required to have the same systems knowledge as any other pilot. How does the EK training dept test your systems knowledge?
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:46 PM   #6  
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Originally Posted by Typhoonpilot View Post
LIn training you might get one guy who insists you do it "this" way and then the next day you get a new guy who criticizes you for doing it the way you were just told. This problem is known, but so difficult to tackle.
Quite common all over the world, I'm afraid.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:50 PM   #7  
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Default Upgrade

The upgrade process at Emirates really starts with recurrent training events. To be eligible for upgrade pilots must perform well on their recurrent training.

The upgrade process starts when the qualifications have been met in terms or hours, time in company, etc. A letter is sent to the pilot asking them to schedule a time to take the technical quiz and psych assessment. Sunnfun can correct me on the current process if I get it out of order here. Once those are done an interview with the deputy chief pilot or his delegate is arranged ( this is going to change soon to other people, but the interview will still occur ). In this interview the candidate is expected to answer scenario based questions as if they were the captain. This means they must be very familiar with all the information in the company OM-A ( operations manual ) as well as fleet specific technical matters. This all occurs before the pilot even begins training. It is expected that they have been studying for the previous 3-5 years and are ready to perform in the role as captain.

Of important note, none of that has anything to do with the training department. The training department only sees the candidate once they have jumped through all the above hoops as set out by the specific fleet chief pilot's office. A number of pilots are held back from even starting the upgrade if they do not pass the above process. Most often they get help in the required area and within a year or so they get through the process and start the training. There are some who never do, but that is very rare.

Once the upgrade training starts is goes pretty fast. There is some ground school ( Sunnfun, help me out here ) and then simulator starts. You would be paired with another upgrade candidate in the sim. There are 4 full flight sim sessions then a left seat skills test. That is followed by zero flight time training; LVO; ILS-PRM; and Cat C airport qual.

Once those sims are finished the candidate will do three LOS training events followed by an LOE. LOS stands for Line Oriented Simulation, LOE for Line Oriented Examination. The LOS events are meant to be training events ( again, these can end up as "checking" events if not run properly ). The LOS events have guidelines, but it's really dealer's choice as to what events will happen in them. They are meant to train a new captain in management; decision making; CRM; and to consolidate procedures.

An example of an LOS training event might be a HKG-BKK flight. Thunderstorms and rain in HKG; possible windshear on departure; MEL at the gate; passenger or cargo issues while loading. Depart after dealing with all of that then have some event in the air that requires a diversion. Could be bomb threat; sick passenger; engine failure; hydraulic problem' electrical problem; etc.

The LOS should run in real time, but because it is training stopping and re-starting are encouraged to discuss ways to improve performance or to correctly deal with a situation.

LOS training is very subjective and because of those cultural differences mentioned above can be really intimidating at times. When I went through the process many years ago it was a little different ( much less emphasis on training ) and I really felt like there was a loaded gun pointed at my head every LOS session. I felt that if I made one little mistake the gun would go off and that would be the end of the upgrade. Thankfully it has changed for the better in the last few years and it isn't that bad anymore, although some might still feel like it is.

Upgrade line training is similar to new hire line training, just different topics discussed.

The most recent statistics for upgrade show a 9% failure rate on the Boeing and a 4% rate on the Airbus. That's over a 6 month period and it's very accurate information.

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Old 02-15-2012, 10:59 PM   #8  
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Originally Posted by Senior Skipper View Post
Thanks for the excellent post TP. It seriously is interesting that there is no systems oral. Obviously you guys are required to have the same systems knowledge as any other pilot. How does the EK training dept test your systems knowledge?
Thanks SS.

Systems knowledge is checked with the systems multiple choice test at the end of initial training and by a systems quiz prior to upgrade training. It is also covered at times with oral questions during simulator training. But again, nothing like a 2-4 hour type ride oral in the States.

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Old 02-16-2012, 02:18 AM   #9  
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If anyone wants to know what the training at Cathay is like see typhoons posts above bc it is identical. Lots of people always ask about CX's training and from the sound of it, that's exactly how they do it.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:43 AM   #10  
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That was an excellent summation of the way the Australians view checking and training. In fact, it's so close to my experience on moving to Virgin Oz, that I broke out in a sweat.

I found it a very intense experience that required a lot of lip-biting and hard work. However, the difference between EK and DJ is that there should be an increasing amount of common sense, with the ever growing amount of American pilots at EK.

I apologize for the thread hijack but having been through this the best thing I would advise, is to remember this saying......"Resistance is futile". Don't fight the differences and learn to play the game.
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